CALDER CUP UPDATE:
Brendan Yarema, Cory Larose and Tony Virta recorded three points each as Houston took Game 1 of the Western Conference Final with a 6-4 win over Chicago on Friday night. Yarema and Larose each tallied all of their points on the Aeros’ final three goals of the night, breaking open a 3-3 tie. Andreas Karlsson scored twice for the Wolves, who lost their fourth Game 1 of this postseason. Travis Roche, Mike Matteucci and Nick Schultz all scored their first career playoff goals for Houston.
Chicago looks to bounce back in Game 2 tonight (7:30 CT) against an Aeros team that has now won seven in a row… With four game-winning goals already this postseason, Cory Larose is one shy of the AHL record; Mark Beaufait is right behind Larose with three… Houston’s Jamie McLennan allowed four goals in a game for the first time since Mar. 2… The Wolves are 0-4 in Game 1’s this spring, but 9-3 in Game 2’s and beyond… Karlsson has five points in his last two games for Chicago after tallying three points in first 12 playoff outings.
Trent Hunter’s power play goal with 6:27 remaining in the third period lifted Bridgeport to a 3-2 victory over Hamilton to open the Eastern Conference Final on Friday. Hunter and Jason Krog each finished with a goal and an assist, and Rick DiPietro stopped 20 shots for the Sound Tigers, who improved to 8-1 this postseason while handing the Bulldogs their first loss in regulation since Apr. 1. Game 2 is tonight (7:05 ET) at the Arena at Harbor Yard, where Bridgeport is 12-1-1 in its last 14 games.
Jason Chimera scored his fourth playoff goal for Hamilton; all four have come on the power play… Jani Rita also scored for the Bulldogs, tying the score just 2:05 before Hunter’s game-winner… Raffi Torres gave the Sound Tigers the lead at 2-1 with less than 30 seconds left in the second period… Ty Conklin made 25 saves in Game 1 for Hamilton, but suffered his first loss since Mar. 29… Hunter has picked up a point in all six of his Calder Cup Playoff games played (2+9=11), and added a goal and an assist in four NHL playoff contests with the N.Y. Islanders… Krog and Juraj Kolnik are tied for the AHL playoff scoring lead with 14 points each.
Game 2 – Hamilton at Bridgeport, 7:05
Game 2 – Chicago at Houston, 7:30
SERIES SCHEDULES: Western Conference Final 4-Houston vs. 7-Chicago Game 1 - HOUSTON 6, Chicago 4 Game 2 - Sat 5/11 at Houston, 7:30 Game 3 - Wed 4/15 at Chicago, 7:00 Game 4 - Fri 5/17 at Chicago, 7:30 *Game 5 - Sun 5/19 at Chicago, 2:00 *Game 6 - Mon 5/20 at Houston, 7:00 *Game 7 - Wed 5/22 at Houston, 7:00 (Houston leads series, 1-0) Eastern Conference Final 1-Bridgeport vs. 6-Hamilton Game 1 - BRIDGEPORT 3, Hamilton 2 Game 2 - Sat 5/11 at Bridgeport, 7:05 Game 3 - Wed 5/15 at Hamilton, 7:30 Game 4 - Fri 5/17 at Hamilton, 7:30 *Game 5 - Sat 5/18 at Hamilton, 7:30 *Game 6 - Mon 5/20 at Bridgeport, 7:05 *Game 7 - Wed 5/22 at Bridgeport, 7:05 (Bridgeport leads series, 1-0) *if necessary… All times local
FROM CALDER TO STANLEY:
Former AHL head coach Jacques Martin has his Ottawa Senators one victory away from the NHL’s Eastern Conference Final after Friday’s 4-2 win over Toronto. Martin’s assistant coach during the 1993-94 AHL season was Bob Hartley, who is currently guiding Colorado in defense of their Stanley Cup championship.
“He was respected by everybody. You don’t meet people like John Cunniff every day… He was truly a first-class person.” — St. Louis Blues Senior Vice President and GM Larry Pleau on the former player, coach and scout, who lost his battle with cancer on Thursday. (Hartford Courant, 5/11/02)
ON THE AIR:
Saturday – Chicago at Houston – AT&T Broadband (Chicago) – 7:30 CT